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This Hour: Latest Minnesota news, sports, business and entertainment

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DISASTER DECLARATION

Hennepin, Ramsey added to disaster declaration

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Hennepin and Ramsey counties have now been added to a presidential disaster declaration for damage from flooding and severe storms this summer.

Governor Mark Dayton's office says adding the two counties means 37 counties and three tribal governments are now eligible to receive federal and state aid to recover from damage to public infrastructure. Dakota County is still assessing its damages.

Minnesota was hit by heavy rain, flooding and mudslides from June 11th to July 11th.

The governor's office says the 37 counties have identified around $30 million worth of eligible expenses.

Dayton said Thursday it's still premature to decide if a special session will be needed. He says he'd prefer to wait until the regular session, but he won't rule out an emergency session if available aid runs dry.

SUPREME COURT CANDIDATE-STATE FAIR

GOP Supreme Court candidate banned at fair booth

FALCON HEIGHTS, Minn. (AP) - The Minnesota Republican Party's endorsed candidate for Supreme Court is watching her support from the party erode.

Party officials passed a resolution banning Michelle MacDonald from the GOP's booth because of a pending drunken driving case. And the Republican nominee for attorney general on Thursday endorsed MacDonald's opponent, longtime Democratic attorney and current Justice David Lillehaug, saying he can't support her.

MacDonald defied party leadership by showing up at the party's booth on the fair's first day Thursday. She was asked several times to leave before she finally did.

She says she isn't trespassing and plans to return every day unless the party takes legal action against her.

MacDonald was endorsed at the GOP state convention in May. Party officials say they didn't know about MacDonald's 2013 arrest.

BUG CAMPAIGN

Minnesota aims to create buzz about pollinators

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Minnesota officials are launching a campaign to promote public awareness of bugs such as honeybees, wasps and moths.

Minnesota Public Radio News reports the state Department of Agriculture is asking Minnesota State Fair attendees to pledge to protect insect pollinators this week. They want supporters to create buzz on social media with a "pollinator hero" hashtag. The state's year-long campaign aims to educate people about how the bugs contribute to the food system and environment.

The state Legislature ordered the agency to devise guidelines for protecting the insects in 2013. The number of pollinators in Minnesota and across the U.S. has dropped significantly in recent years.

The campaign offers tips for nurturing ecosystems by planting pollinator-friendly flowers and other plants. It also suggests ways to reduce pesticide use.

PATROL BOAT RAMMED

Boater who allegedly rammed patrol boat released

WINONA, Minn. (AP) - A boater who allegedly rammed a water patrol boat on the Mississippi River and fought with Winona County deputies is free on his own recognizance.

The Post-Bulletin of Rochester reports that 39-year-old Mark Thomas Pellowski made his first court appearance Tuesday on charges that included assault with a dangerous weapon, assaulting a peace officer, fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle, and drunken boating. He's due back in court September 24th.

Winona County Sheriff Dave Brand says deputies in a patrol boat saw two men in a fishing boat with no lights Saturday night. When they attempted to pull up alongside, Pellowski allegedly rammed it. He then allegedly got into a fight with the deputies.

A phone number listed for a Mark Pellowski in Winona rang unanswered Thursday.

MISSING FISHERMAN

Authorities investigate report of missing angler

CENTER CITY, Minn. (AP) - Chisago County authorities are investigating a report of a missing fisherman from Austin.

The sheriff's office says in a statement that it received a report around noon Thursday of a 16-foot fishing boat washing ashore on the north end of East Rush Lake.

A couple hours later the sheriff's office received a report of a missing fisherman. Family members identified him as 51-year-old Kendahl Jochumsen, of Austin. He was the registered owner of the boat that washed ashore. He was last seen fishing alone on East Rush Lake shortly after midnight and had not been heard from since them.

Authorities ask that anyone who's had contact with Jochumsen or seen anything suspicious in the water on East Rush Lake to contact the Chisago County sheriff's office immediately.

LITTLE CANADA DEATH

Suspect held in man's death in Little Canada fight

LITTLE CANADA, Minn. (AP) - Authorities are holding a suspect in the death of a man who was pushed in front of a car on a street in the St. Paul suburb of Little Canada.

Sergeant John Eastman of the Ramsey County sheriff's office says authorities got a call just after 9 p.m. Wednesday of two men fighting. He says one man deliberately pushed the other in front of an oncoming car. The victim was struck and died at a hospital.

The victim's name has not been released. The suspect, a 41-year-old Little Canada man, was booked on suspicion of homicide. He has not been charged.

Authorities haven't said what the fight was about. The investigation is continuing.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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